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Expenses That Teachers Can And Can’t Deduct On Their Tax Returns

As teachers head back for a new school year, they often pay for various expenses for which they don’t receive reimbursement. Fortunately, they may be able to deduct them on their tax returns. However, there are limits on this special deduction, and some expenses can’t be written off.

For 2019, qualifying educators can deduct some of their unreimbursed out-of-pocket classroom costs under the educator expense deduction. This is an “above-the-line” deduction, which means you don’t have to itemize your deductions in order to claim it.

Eligible deductions

Here are some details about the educator expense deduction:

  • For 2019, educators can deduct up to $250 of trade or business expenses that weren’t reimbursed. (The deduction is $500 if both taxpayers are eligible educators who file a joint tax return, but these taxpayers can’t deduct more than $250 each.)
  • Qualified expenses are amounts educators paid themselves during the tax year.
  • Examples of expenses that educators can deduct include books, supplies, computer equipment (including software), other materials used in the classroom, and professional development courses.
  • To be eligible, taxpayers must be kindergarten through grade 12 teachers, instructors, counselors, principals or aides. They must also work at least 900 hours a school year in a school that provides elementary or secondary education as determined under state law.

Educators should keep receipts when they make eligible expenses and note the date, amount and purpose of each purchase.

Ineligible deductions

Teachers or professors may see advertisements for job-related courses in out-of-town or exotic locations. You may have wondered whether traveling to these courses is tax-deductible on teachers’ tax returns. The bad news is that, for tax years 2018–2025, it isn’t, because the outlays are employee business expenses.

Prior to 2018, employee business expenses could be claimed as miscellaneous itemized deductions. However, under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, miscellaneous itemized deductions aren’t deductible by individuals for tax years 2018–2025. For more information, contact us at (818) 789 1179.

© 2019

 

13 responses to “Expenses That Teachers Can And Can’t Deduct On Their Tax Returns

  1. Good read. Thanks for the data. It helps us at North of 52. We only have several comments per post and were evaluating the impact on metrics. Doesn’t seem to be any. Our highest read posts have no or one comment.
    I’ve been wondering whether to remove and disable comments on my site for a long now. But I got solid reasons. Did a final research now, and your article together with the resources mentioned in it helped.

  2. One of the biggest questions I see in my circles is around using blog comments to spam URLs. Not so much the automated bot drivel, but the human “lightly-referencing the post but aiming for a link” kind of thing. In experimenting with removing the “URL” field, we cut down on that too; but I do feel we’re missing some of the conversation that came from people interested, but motivated to comment by the link attribution.
    Thanks for this post. I am currently starting up a blog for our company and I found it to be very helpful! I think that the advice to evaluate and do what is best for your individual audience was very wise and helped me come to a decision. Thanks for the unbiased content!

  3. Interesting article Mary. Comments might not be an indicator of traffic but I think it’s a great way to connect and communicate with the readers. Yes, it’s not a necessity but it’s much better to have one I guess. Anyway, thanks for sharing! I had a good read.
    However, it is completely up to your own personal preference. If your comments section is causing you a lot of time, money or stress, and your readers aren’t getting much value from it, then maybe you should consider removing it.

  4. Comments can be used to further relationships with your existing readership, provide social proof, or to elicit feedback. As you can see, we allow comments ourselves, and we take the time to respond to many of the comments we receive.
    Since blog comments don’t have a huge effect on your traffic, they don’t have a huge effect on your revenue either. So you don’t need to stress out about the number of comments that you get or don’t get.

  5. Yes, some blogs may receive a slight boost in search traffic due to the comments section. But you’ll need a good amount of high-quality, keyword-rich comments.
    As we saw in the data above, blog comments are not an indicator of blog traffic. One blog may have tons of comments with little traffic, whereas another blog may have tons of traffic with little comments.

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